Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2024

Remoaners ‘throwing out milk and pate’ in Brexit fury over ‘not for EU’ labels | World | News

In a move aimed at preventing the movement of goods into EU member countries, new rules requiring foods to carry “not for EU” labels are causing confusion and discontent among UK shoppers.

The labelling policy, part of the post-Brexit Windsor Framework between the UK and EU, was initially applied to meat and some dairy products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

However, the British government has announced an extension of this requirement to include all meat and dairy products sold across the UK, with full implementation expected from October 2024.

The decision has already led to some supermarkets in England adopting the labelling system in advance, resulting in bewildered consumers taking to social media platforms to express their dismay.

One X user posted a picture of ham in Sainsbury’s, suggesting it may not meet EU food safety standards, while another questioned the standard of a pot of chicken liver parfait from Tesco, asking if it was made to a lower standard.

They wrote: “Does that mean [it’s] made to a lower standard?”

While yet another complained: “I recoil each time I see food in supermarkets with the label: not for EU.”

Despite concerns among shoppers, the labels do not signify a reduction in food standards. British food standards, with the exception of some divergence on pesticides, have remained largely unchanged since Brexit.

However, exporters are protesting against the labelling scheme, asserting that it prevents them from trading items that could otherwise be sold into the EU.

Food policy experts have criticised the additional layer of red tape, with Christopher Elliott, a professor at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, stating: “Many consumers find food labels confusing enough without yet another additional layer of red tape.”

Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, assistant director of food at the British Retail Consortium, representing major UK supermarkets, acknowledged the legal requirement for “Not for EU” labelling in Northern Ireland and anticipated its extension across the rest of the UK from autumn 2024. She emphasised the importance of the government communicating the meaning and necessity of the label to consumers.

A government spokesperson defended the labelling policy, stating: “The ‘Not for EU’ label is designed to support retailers and supermarkets to move food and drink products between Great Britain and Northern Ireland as smoothly as possible.

“It means suppliers will not have to establish different production lines to be able to sell goods in Great Britain as well as Northern Ireland, ensuring products remain on the shelves and consumer choice is mai

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